VIZAG STEEL PLANT SUCCESSFULLY COMMISSIONS NEW BLOOM & ROUND COMBI-CASTER FROM SMS CONCAST

RINL’s (Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd.) Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) has successfully commissioned the new continuous casting machine in Visakhapatnam, India, which was supplied by SMS Concast, a company of SMS group.

With a casting radius of twelve meters, the five-strand continuous casting machine has a rated capacity of one million tons per year, covering a wide range of steel grades from simple carbon grades to grades for ball bearing and seamless tube applications as well as railway wheels.

The new continuous casting machine is enlarging the product range of Vizag Steel by introducing round bloom sections of 410 and 450 millimeters in diameter in addition to the 200 millimeters square sections. The smoothly commissioned casting machine encom­passes all technological features required to produce steel grades for highest quality demands, including a submerged pouring system with electro-mechanical stopper flow control system, hydraulic mold oscillation, mold and final electromagnetic stirrers as well as a product marking system.

The state-of-the-art Level 1 and Level 2 automation systems ensure efficient operation of the continuous casting machine with minimized personnel requirements, while controlling and monitoring all required process parameters and capturing all key product data for digital production and quality tracking.

With this new state-of-the-art equipment, Vizag Steels will be able to further strengthen its position in the Special Bar Quality (SBQ) market.

“Thanks to the very successful cooperation with SMS Concast, we now operate a continuous casting machine of the latest technology specifically designed to meet our high quality standards,” says Mr. P.C. Mohapatra – Director (Projects) at Vizag Steels.

 

Source: SMS Group

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Guangxi Guixin orders EAF Quantum electric arc furnace from Primetals Technologies

  • Tapping weight of maximum 80 metric tons

  • First application of split tapping process reduces tap-to-tap time

  • Plant concept reduces electrical energy requirement, operating costs and CO2 emissions

  • High degree of automation

The Chinese steel producer Guangxi Guixin Iron & Steel Group Co., Ltd  (Guangxi Guixin) has placed an order with Primetals Technologies to supply an EAF Quantum electric arc furnace for its Hezhou, Guangxi works. The furnace has a tapping weight of 80 metric tons and will replace to smaller existing arc furnaces. For the first time, an EAF Quantum arc furnace features the new split tapping process: Tapping is performed under full power with a tap-to-tap time of just 26 minutes. The furnace has an extremely low requirement of electrical energy, which also contributes to a reduction in both operating costs and CO2 emissions. The high degree of automation, starting from the scrapyard, makes the EAF Quantum ready for Industry 4.0. Commissioning of the new furnace is scheduled for mid-2019.

Guixin Iron and Steel Group Co., Ltd. was established in 1993. The privately owned group comprises companies active in the steel, real estate, port, finance, and trade businesses. Its steelmaking capacity amounted to 8 million metric tons (2017), mainly rebar and wire rod and coil. The production site in Hezhou is EAF based and produces long products.

Primetals Technologies will supply the entire mechanical and electrical process equipment for the EAF Quantum electric arc furnace. This includes the automated scrap yard management, the automated charging process as well as automated oxygen lancing and sand filling as well as level 2 automation, making the plant ready for Industry 4.0. A special feature of the new EAF Quantum is the newly introduced split tapping process. This allows for continuous tapping with smaller but faster heats due to the large hot heel of the furnace and Primetals Technologies´ FAST tapping solution, significantly reducing tap-to-tap times.

Developed by Primetals Technologies, the EAF Quantum combines proven elements of shaft furnace technology with an innovative scrap feeding process, efficient preheating system, new tipping concept for the lower shell, and an optimized tap system to attain significantly reduced tap-to-tap times. The electrical energy requirement is considerably less than that of a conventional electric arc furnace. In conjunction with reduced consumption of electrodes and oxygen, a cumulative benefit of around 20 percent is achieved for respective conversion costs. Overall, reductions of up to 30 percent of CO2 emissions per metric ton of crude steel can be attained when compared to conventional arc furnaces.

electric arc furnace

EAF Quantum electric arc furnace from Primetals Technologies

Source: Primetals Technologies

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Successful Modernization of AOD Converter at SěAH CSS

Reduced maintenance costs thanks to SMS group torque retainer on AOD converter tilt drive

The 100-ton AOD converter at the SěAH CSS stainless steel mill in Changwon, South Korea, was successfully re-commissioned in March 2018, after installation of an electro-hydraulic torque retainer from SMS group.

The purpose of the modernization was to minimize the destructive forces acting on the gears, bearings and converter car during gas injection.

The scope of supply of SMS group comprised an electro-hydraulic torque retainer including electrical equipment and automation systems as well as the supervision of erection and commissioning.

The installation of the torque retainer was performed during a scheduled maintenance standstill and completed within ten days, including cold and hot commissioning. Hot commissioning even took place two days ahead of schedule under regular production conditions. The guaranteed values were fully reached. Thanks to the new electro-hydraulic torque retainer from SMS group, the dynamic loads on the entire converter equipment have been significantly reduced. This is the result of the successful cooperation between the teams from SěAH and SMS group.

Seungheon Lee, General Manager Steelmaking Facility Team: “The new torque retainer from SMS group has significantly reduced the vibrations of the AOD converter. We experience the benefits of this modernization every day. Maintenance costs will be reduced significantly. We are very satisfied.”

SěAH Changwon Integrated Special Steel produces stainless steel, tool steel and carbon steel at a production volume of 1.2 million tons per year. The produced high-tech steel grades are used in a wide range of applications, for example in vehicles, machinery, aircrafts, nuclear power plants, shipbuilding and electronics.

AOD Converter with/without torque retainer
Vibrations of the AOD converter measured over time. Left: without torque retainer, right: with SMS group torque retainer.

SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. It has some 13,500 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

Source: SMS Group

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ArcelorMittal Zenica completes EUR 30 million blast furnace reconstruction

EUR 30 million reconstruction of the blast furnace prepares ArcelorMittal Zenica for the next 20 years of steel production.

ArcelorMittal Zenica announces the completion of a EUR 30 million project to rebuild the blast furnace and upgrade other areas of the factory, including the energy, sinter and steel plants and the rolling mill. The latest projects are bringing the total invested in the Zenica plant to over EUR 200 million. The refurbishment means that integrated steel production can continue in Zenica for up to 20 years into the future.

The project’s completion was marked with a ceremony in the heart of the steel works, attended by over 200 distinguished guests, including Prime Minister of the F ederation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Fadil Novalic and Mr. Miralem Galijasevic, Prime Minister of Zenica-Doboj Canton. Augustine Kochuparampil and Lutz Bandusch attended on behalf of ArcelorMittal Europe.

Blast Furnace reconstruction

Addressing the guests, Federal Prime Minister Novalic commented: “This is a step that will guarantee competitiveness on a very turbulent steel market. Directly or indirectly, 12,000 people depend on this company, which is beyond doubt the biggest company in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Cantonal Prime Minister Galijasevic also welcomed the achievement: “The Zenica-Doboj Canton is the leader of export precisely thanks to ArcelorMittal, which is the backbone of development here. The general repair of the blast furnace is very important for the local economy as ArcelorMittal Zenica is the biggest exporter in Zenica-Doboj canton and Bosnia and Hercegovina.”

The CEO of ArcelorMittal Zenica, Biju Nair underlined the importance of the project to the city’s future: “This is another very important step on our journey to build a long-term, sustainable future for steelmaking in this great industrial city. It underlines our strong and continuing commitment to the future, which begins right here, today.

“We will continue to invest in the infrastructure of the factory, bringing further improvements in our ecological performance and our production capability. At the same time, we will continue to support, develop and encourage the young managers, engineers and production staff who will write the next chapter in the story of steel in Zenica.”

The lead contractor responsible for project delivery was the specialist Dutch company, Danieli Corus, supported by many local contractors.

 

Source: ArcelorMittal

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Primetals Technologies supplies new Arvedi ESP line to Henan Yaxin

  • Casting-rolling plant produces high-quality, ultra-thin strip to enter new market segments
  • Rolling of reproducible strip thicknesses down to 0.8 mm
  • Total production capacity of 1.6 million tons per year with potential for 2.5 million tons per year
  • Energy consumption and related costs are reduced by up to 45% compared to conventional casting and rolling processes
  • First mini mill combination of Quantum EAF and ESP with major reduction in CO2 and NOx emissions

Chinese steel producer Henan Yaxin Steel Group Co., Ltd. (Henan Yaxin) has placed an order with Primetals Technologies for the supply of an Arvedi ESP (Endless Strip Production) line. The casting-rolling facility will be part of a new steelmaking facility currently under construction in Fuding City, Fujian province . The liquid steel will be produced by two EAF Quantum electric arc furnaces ordered from Primetals Technologies earlier this year.

The Arvedi ESP line has a design capacity of 1.6 million metric tons per year with the potential to produce later 2.5 million tons per year. It is capable of rolling strip to a reproducible strip thicknesses down to 0.8 mm. This will enable Henan Yaxin to produce high-quality, ultra-thin strip to enter new market segments. Compared to conventional casting and rolling processes, energy consumption and the related costs are reduced by up to 45%. This also results in a major reduction in CO2 and NOx emissions, minimizing environmental impact. This is the first environmental friendly mini mill installation worldwide where EAF Quantum and Arvedi ESP are combined. The plant is scheduled to go into operation in 2020.

The privately-owned company Henan Yaxin operates integrated and compact steelmaking plants in five provinces and cities in China, and can produce more than ten million metric tons of steel each year. The Arvedi ESP plant will allow Henan Yaxin to better serve the highly attractive local and export markets for high-quality, thin-gauge strip products. The 180-meter-long plant is far more compact than conventional casting and rolling mills. The new plant is designed for an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons of high-quality, ultra-thin, hot-rolled strip products with widths of up to 1,600 mm and thicknesses down to 0.8 mm. Carbon steels, high-strength low alloyed (HSLA) grades and dual-phase steels will be produced.

Primetals Technologies is responsible for the engineering of the Arvedi ESP plant and will supply mechanical equipment, media-control systems, technological packages and automation systems. The entire line is controlled by a completely integrated basic (Level 1) and process optimization (Level 2) automation, which fully controls all casting and rolling operations.

In the Arvedi ESP process, hot-rolled coils are produced in a linked casting and rolling plant directly from liquid steel in a continuous and uninterrupted manufacturing process. The line commences with the casting of a thin strand that is subsequently rolled to an intermediate thickness of 8 to 20 mm in a 3-stand high-reduction mill positioned at the end of the caster. After reheating in an induction heater, rolling of the transfer bar to the targeted end thickness is performed in a 5-stand finishing mill followed by laminar strip cooling. Strip cutting is then carried out by means of a high-speed shear immediately prior to coiling to coil weights of up to 32 metric tons. The full range of steel grades can be flexibly produced on Arvedi ESP plants.

As a result of the endless strip-production mode of Arvedi ESP lines, repeated threading into the individual rolling stands is not necessary. This is the basis for the production of ultra-thin strip gauges down to 0.8 mm thicknesses. The tolerance values for the required strip geometry are fully met along the entire length of the rolled product. Endless production is also decisive for assuring the homogeneity of the steel microstructure, grain size, yield strength and tensile strength. Because the strip is continually under tension, the cobble rate is below 0.1%, even when producing more than 50% below 1.2 mm thickness. Yield values exceeding 98% are reached because cropping of the strip head and tail ends is not necessary.

Arvedi ESP plant in operation

Source:  Primetals Technologies

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Steel Prices in the United States at Ten-Year High

The impact of 25 percent tariffs on imports of steel into the United States has been significantly eroded by the domestic mill price increases. Clearly, this situation would not have been anticipated at the beginning of the initiative.

The MEPS North American Average Flat Products selling figure increased by 34 percent, since the start of the year. In Western Europe, the steel price recovery, in US dollar terms, was just 3.5 percent over the same period. In Asia, an upturn of 6.5 percent was recorded.

How can the authorities in the United States square this circle? It is clear that, on a cost basis, domestic steel users will be in a position to return to purchasing from outside the country. This was not the original plan when the Section 232 plan was devised.

The answer will rest with the domestic steel producers. Overseas suppliers are likely to maintain their current offer prices. It will require action from the local steelmakers. This would, almost certainly, require them to adopt a different strategy to the one currently in place.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review

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